Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Serious

CarboRocket 333 + Elete Electrolyte Add-in
I turned in a semi-repeat of Saturday's ride again early this morning.  I started before sunrise and headed out into the dark with riding light. The weather was perfect, no wind, dark, the moon was out, and the stars.  It was well worth getting up at (too early to mention) to take it all in.  The ride was a repeat of Saturday in the sense that I took on some of the same trails in the same general direction.  It was different because I dialed back the intensity and increase the ride time by about an hour.  Some good advice I am trying to follow this year is to define a purpose to every ride in advance (Annual Training Plan) focused on the goal of having fitness (peak) at the right time (race day).  My goals for the day were 4-fold.

  1. Test out some demo riding lights - didn't go as planned.
  2. Spend some quality time on my new ride working on speed / handling skills.  My backyard trails are filled with tight turns, small hills, ice patches, climbs, everything I need to get to know the bike.
  3. Work on muscular endurance by riding steady in HR Z3, staying seated up the hills, etc.
  4. Start to test various mixes of endurance fuel. Today was CarboRocket 333 mixed with Elete Electrolyte Add-in
As for goal #1 hopefully I will have more to add after I take on another morning ride Wednesday AM but for now that plan failed due to cockpit error (me).  #2 was even more fun than it was on Saturday. With the calm of the darkness and lack of wind I could really feel how the bike performs on the trail.  SRAM has something going on with the 2x10 setup and the X0 shifting is smooth and precise.  #3 and #4 worked together.  I didn't eat anything before I headed out so my stomach was on the secret brew cold turkey.  After 3 hours I was riding strong and felt like I could have done another 3 at that pace.  I've put 333 through the ringer for the past 2 months and I can say (all sponsorship aside) that is is the best I have used.  Elete I am still testing out but so far it passes with two thumbs up.

My first race of 2011 will True Grit in late March.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Backyard Riding

Old Man In Singletrack Bliss

There are some amazing trails here in Highlands Ranch (a.k.a the other Boulder).  This wasn't always true of course but things have slowly started to take shape and as it stands, I think there are 30+ miles of singletrack to enjoy.  Today I took in around 20 miles of it as most of the good stuff is closed until things warm up and dry out (no complaints here). The terrain is part fast winding single track, part climbing singletrack, and part pump track style singletrack. Regardless, it is awesome and it is in my backyard. The trails are enough to get you worked, and that's what I did today.  I took my new ride out for the maiden voyage.  The last time I was on a mountainbike with more than 1 gear was the Ergon Monster Ride back in October 2010.  That was the fair well ride for my trusty 2006 Specialized Epic Marathon.  It was a little old but still an amazingly fast ride.

A moment of silence...

Today it was a bigwheel'd Gary Fisher Superfly 100 and I had a blast.  One thing I noticed right up front in the singletrack was how well this bike handles.  It felt very nimble around the turns and seemed to stick them at any speed.  It felt solid.  I was in love... until the wind.  29" wheels do not like crosswinds very much and I was taking a beating with some of the 25 MPH gusts.  I can live with that but it was a noticeable downside of riding circus wheels today.  With a few adjustments planned I think this new ride will rock the race course this year.  

Hopefully I can say the same for all 36 years of me.

Google Earth View: Looking SW

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

This is just a shout out to my teammates competing at Old Pueblo last weekend.  They did an awesome job taking 2nd and 10th in the 4 man open division.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Crunching Race Registration Numbers

I had a little downtime working today waiting for stuff like this:

Mind Numbing Computer Stuff
While I was waiting around, I went to my goto time wasting fallback and started surfing the web.  Somehow I made it back to the P2P roster again and took a closer look at who will be riding in September.  After a few seconds of looking, I noticed most of the entrants are from Utah, not a really big surprise.  My inter-geek prodded me to take a quick sensus of how many from each state made it in.

Drum roll.........

      # STATE
      1 GA
      1 ME
      1 MO
      1 MT
      1 VT
      1 WI
      2 WA
      3 AZ
      3 MN
      3 NV
     10 WY
     14 CA
     18 ID
     29 CO
    233 UT

I'm not sure if this means everyone in Utah had faster computers or if most of the race interest is still centered in Utah and neighboring states.  Geographically speaking it makes sense.  It is clear that few from the mid west or  east coast want to travel out west for the event (fine with me), or did they just have slow computers and fingers?

For comparison, here is the breakdown from the 2010 Leadville Trail 100:

      # LOCATION
      1 AUS
      1 AUT
      1 CHL
      1 DEU
      1 DNK
      1 ESP
      1 HKG
      1 ITA
      1 ND
      1 NOR
      1 POL
      1 Ramon
      1 RI
      1 the
      2 BEL
      2 NLD
      2 NZL
      3 CHE
      3 COL
      3 ME
      3 SD
      3 VT
      3 ZAF
      4 AK
      4 DC
      4 KY
      4 MS
      6 BRA
      6 CRI
      6 HI
      6 MT
      6 NH
      7 MEX
      7 WY
      9 SC
     10 KS
     10 OK
     11 GBR
     11 LA
     11 NJ
     12 AR
     12 IN
     13 CT
     13 IA
     14 MO
     14 OR
     15 AL
     15 WI
     17 TN
     18 ID
     18 MI
     19 MD
     19 NE
     19 NV
     19 OH
     20 PA
     23 GA
     26 VA
     27 MA
     27 WA
     28 CAN
     28 NY
     30 NC
     32 NM
     33 IL
     36 FL
     52 AZ
     59 MN
     78 TX
     92 UT
    136 CA
    434 CO

Again it looks like the home state takes the majority of the race slots.

Conclusion?  *Most* people don't like to drive long distance to race.  This research should no doubt put me in the running for the next Nobel Peace Prize.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Race Registration Madness

2010 P2P

Last night's Park City Point 2 Point registration sold out in just over 6 min. The previous week the The Original Growler sold out in 8 min.  Both had over 300 slots.  Soon new chapters will need to be added to those training bibles to cover tactics for completing online registrations within 120 seconds.  I am still hearing reports of shaking hands, insomnia, delirium, and anxiety 14 hours after last night's registration.

A good ride in the 70F temps this afternoon should calm the nerves a bit.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Five Ps of Training

I found this in The Mountain Biker's Training Bible today.

Yea, I think those are pretty sweet bar ends too.

"No, there are no secrets when it comes to training. There always have been, and always will be, five ingredients for success in sport (as in any other endeavor in life).  They are the five Ps:
  1. Purpose - Know exactly what your goal is.
  2. Passion - Have a burning desire to achieve the goal.
  3. Planning - Determine precisely how to go about achieving the goal.
  4. Perspiration - Work hard (and smart) following your plan.
  5. Perseverance - Willingly make sacrifices to achieve the goal."
Easer said than done...

Happy training!

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011 Park City Point 2 Point Countdown

Registration Countdown -

Once again I hope to toe the line for the 2011 P2P. Last year was my first year and the course was both demanding and awesome. Check out the video above from Jay Burke outlining some changes for this year. It should be a fun and challenging event again in 2011. Don't forget registration starts February 15th at 7pm.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Surviving Indoors

2011 Team Clothing
I've been riding indoors for the better part of 2 weeks. It has been warm enough to ride on a few days recently but my work and family schedule hasn't allowed for it.  It's been so long since I've actually ridden outside (and even longer on dirt) that I am starting to forget what it feels like.  I guess in a way the longer my exclusive indoor training binge lasts the less I realize what I am missing out on - except for stuff like  this, this, and this serving a reminder of my pathetic situation.  Sure riding a trainer sucks but it is part of what it takes, for me anyway, to have fitness when the weather turns and it's time to mix it up on the dirt. I am in base period now which means a lot of long rides at moderate and consistent intensity, perfect for a trainer if you can muster the willpower, but still boring as heck.  I did get my hands on my new rags for 2011 today so that should lift the spirits a little, and add a few days to the time when I need to wash clothes again.

A few things that help get me through 2+ hours on the trainer early in the morning.

1. Deadmau5 (Strobe).  I start every session with this song.  It lasts 10 min and builds over time which translates to the perfect song for me to warm up to.  I doubt I'll ever get tired of it.

2. CarboRocket 333.  This stuff just does it for me at 4am.  I'm ready to go after 1 24oz bottle.

3. Some POV camera footage of past season races and training rides.  These really help take my mind off of the monotony.  Some good sources are easy to find on the web.  I like to watch some of the following:  Jeff Kerkove's vides on Vimeo, World Cup reruns on , and Alex Grant's videos on Cycling Dirt just to name a few.

4. Beats.  I usually find some good techno mixes via Pandora. There are some good podcasts as well with fresh beats to consume.  Check out Dada Life, DJ Dan Morrell (Formerly DJ Smurf), DJ Scene, Remix Production Mashups.  The bottom line for me is to keep the music new and interesting.  Follow Jeff Kerkove on Twitter if you are too lazy to find new training music.  He has a talent for digging it up.

5.  A Movie.  If all else fails, throw in a good action movie (not a boring drama).

6. Video games.  Although I haven't tried this myself, others will play a Wii or something else while riding.  I'm not sure if this is for me but it may work for you.

It helps with my motivation at least to get everything set up the night before: bike, computer, clothes, water bottles.  This preparation gives me fewer excuses to fight through when the alarm goes off and I am grasping for reasons to stay in bed.

Happy suffering.